Drawing from scores of interviews as well as from the vast body of Merton's writings, both published and unpublished, Michael Mott traces Merton's life from his birth in France in 1915 through his twenty-seven years at the Abbey of Gethsemani in rural Kentucky to his untimely death in Bangkok on December 10, 1968. As the Washington Post Book World observed, "the real drama" of the book begins where Merton's own best-selling 1948 autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, leaves off after "the jazz-loving Bohemian intellectual" enters the monastic life and, in midlife, meets the challenge of his vocation: a striking student nurse. 696 pages.
"Mertoniana will go on and on, but no life will likely emerge as balanced in pathos, as tempered in hero-worship and as genuinely catholic as this one." --America
"A first-rate, definitive biography." --Sunday Telegraph (London)
Michael Mott is the author of seven collections of poetry and four novels as well as this biography, which he undertook with the full cooperation of the Merton Legacy Trust. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.